The Oscar nominations are out, and there a few more of the nominees trickling out to suburbia, while there’s also a fresh load of January manure.
American Sniper (72) just got a Best Picture nod, along with star and co-producer Bradley Cooper, though Clint Eastwood did not get a nomination (he got a producing nom, his 11th overall). This film has divided critics, but I will see it for sure. “American Sniper is imperfect and at times a little corny, but also ambivalent and complicated in ways that are uniquely Eastwoodian.”
Who would imagine a Michael Mann film would get dumped in January? But that’s the case with Blackhat (49), which has Mann peering into the world of cyber-crime. Scott Tobias: “Though the pacing is lumpy, to say the least, Blackhat occasionally bursts to life when Mann breaks out one of his signature action setpieces, which have the distinct pop of heavy artillery and the immediacy of video.”
For the kids is Paddington (77), based on the classic books about a bear in search of a home. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: “If the film seems head-and-shoulders above the average effects-driven family-matinee flick, it’s because it never gives the impression that it’s trying to be anything more (or less) than good-natured and fun to watch.”
Spare Parts (48) looks like Stand and Deliver, except with robotics instead of math, just like the upcoming McPartland, USA looks like Stand and Deliver for cross-country running. George Lopez stars. Thomas Lee: “If “Stand and Deliver” struck many as a hard-hitting look at life in the urban ghetto, Spare Parts seems like a Disney after-school special by comparison.
I’ve seen the trailer for The Wedding Ringer (32) many times, and every time I hate it more. First, I can’t believe the premise, that grooms would have to pay big bucks for a best-man service, and second, I don’t get Kevin Hart. Jon Frosch: “A certain derivative, deja-vu quality isn’t the only sin this lazy, numbingly routine, very occasionally amusing comedy commits.”